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(Masnavi Book 3: 07) The people of Saba and the Prophets




(Story of the people of Sa and how prosperity made them forward.)

You have not read the story of the people of Sabá, or you have read it and seen (heard) naught but the echo.
The mountain itself (which produces the echo) is not aware of the echo: the mind of the
mountain has no way (of access) to the meaning.
Without ear and mind, it goes on making a noise; when you are silent, it also becomes silent.

285. God bestowed on the people of Sabá much ease—myriads of castles and palaces and orchards.
(But) those bad-natured ones rendered no thanks for that (bounty): in fidelity they were less than dogs.
When to a dog there comes from the door a piece of bread, he will gird up his loins at the door. He will become the watcher and guardian of the door, even though violence and hard treatment befall him.

Still will he stay and abide at that door: he will deem it ingratitude to prefer another.

290. And (again), if a strange dog come by day or night (to a quarter of the town), the dogs there will at once teach him a lesson,
Saying, “Begone to the place that is your first lodging: obligation for that kindness is the heart's pledge (which it must redeem).”
They will bite him, saying, “Begone to your place, do not any more leave (unpaid) the obligation for that kindness.”
From the door of the spirit and spiritual men how long didst you drink the water of life, and
thine eyes were opened!
Much food from the door of the spiritual, (in the form) of (mystical) intoxication and ecstasy and selflessness, didst you cast upon your soul.

295. Afterwards, through greed, you didst abandon that door, and (now) you art going round about every shop, like a bear.
For the sake of worthless tharíd you art running to the doors of those (worldly) patrons whose
pots are (full of) fat.
Know that here (where the saints abide) the (meaning of) “fat is that the soul becomes fat
(flourishing), and (know that) here the plight of the desperate is made good.

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